Our life is enriched…

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Vicky Glidewell. I am a parent of two children. My son’s name is Michael and my daughter’s name is Catherine. I am married to a wonderful man, his name is Randy.

I want to tell you a little about our family. Randy and I have been married 30 years. We had Mike two years after we were married. It was such a great day, our very own little baby boy. When Mike was five months old, my mother was babysitting him. He was taking a nap and she was cleaning. The vacuum didn’t seem to bother Mike. My mom was concerned, so we had Mike’s hearing tested. He was seven months old when we had him tested and it was confirmed the mike had a very profound hearing loss. By the time he was 11 months old Mike had his hearing aid, his first one was a body aid. We had our moments of crying and feeling sorry for ourselves and for our poor Mike. We all had some big adjustments to make, but it turned out fine. We composed ourselves, and realized that we had to make sure our son would grow up and function in the hearing world. First, we started classes at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. Mike was part of the infant program, and we were part of the parent counseling program. When DuPage West Cook was doing the parent infant program, we were part of that also. I would bring Mike to the facility, and sometimes they would make home visits.

Mike progressed very well and the family was doing fine too. My husband and I took sign language classes. We associated with other parents of children that were Deaf. We also associated with other Deaf adults. Many of our family members also learned to sign so they could communicate with mike.

When our daughter was born Mike wanted know everything we said to her, so we signed and spoke at the same time. From there, Cathy learned to sign before she could talk. It all worked for our children and for us. Your life becomes more enriched when the family has to work a little harder and more often with each other, but it is so worth it.

Mike has graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from DeVry in Addison, Illinois in 2001. He is very intelligent with computers. His father and I are very proud of him and his accomplishments. He stood up in Cathy’s wedding in April 2004. Mike and Cathy have become great friends. We love them both so much. Cathy is an Interpreter at Westmont Jr. High School. She is also taking courses in college to become a teacher. She is wonderful with children. I also am an Interpreter. I have been doing it for 13 years in the schools system. I love it.
My husband has been a truck driver for the last thirty-one years so he was not always home a lot when mike was younger, but Randy learned to sign and developed a great relationship with our son. I could probably write a book, but you wouldn’t want to read all of that so I just wanted to give you some insight to our family life raising a deaf child.

Thank you for listening to my story.

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